As Leonardo DiCaprio Faces Criticism for Frank Sinatra Role, 1 Former Disney Star May be the Perfect Fit after Latest Movie’s Oscar Snub With 0 Nominations

The iconic screenwriter of Taxi Driver, Paul Schrader, once said, “Every time I thought that I might die, I would get a new idea.” Now, although the 81-year-old auteur, Martin Scorsese is very far from the final event, the legendary director and Leonardo DiCaprio collaborator has quipped once or twice his fear of not having much time left to do all of the things he wants to do. Perhaps that very thought has led to Scorsese picking up his pace on two projects of astounding weight and value – Jesus Christ and Frank Sinatra.

Martin Scorsese [Photo: Harald Krichel, 74th Berlin International Film Festival]

The upcoming biopics – one adapted from a novel and the other from life – will be filmed back to back under Scorsese’s watchful eye. And even though criticism is a foregone conclusion in both of these projects, that thought has hardly put a pause on the director’s boundless enthusiasm and joy for getting his films imprinted on the big screen.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Frank Sinatra Role Faces Criticism

The problem with a Frank Sinatra biopic is manifold in its complexity. Primarily, the life of the legendary blue-eyed Hollywood crooner is in and of itself a subject of great controversy. From his alleged ties to the Mafia to high-scale affairs, Sinatra’s personality was as much a catalog for the gilded industry lifestyle as his profession. For those reasons alone, Ol’ Blue Eyes stands in his own way of becoming the subject of a Martin Scorsese-directed, Leonardo DiCaprio-starring biopic.

Frank Sinatra with Ella Fitzgerald in 1958 [Photo- The Frank Sinatra Show]

The leading man, on the other hand, has stood by Scorsese through every peak and valley over the course of their extensive and unparalleled collaboration throughout the 21st century. Leonardo DiCaprio’s commitment to Scorsese’s vision and his eerie similarity to the Sultan of Swoon make him a serendipitous addition to the biopic as its leading man. Jennifer Lawrence has been cast as the Hollywood icon Ava Gardner, Sinatra’s second wife and the greatest love of his life, who was married to him for 6 years, and was responsible for his failed suicide attempt and his first Oscar win.

Despite the universe coming together to make such a rare union of talents possible, the criticism surrounding the film has three layers. Primarily, the problem lies with the estate of Frank Sinatra, and, Tina Sinatra (daughter from his first marriage which was broken up due to his extramarital affair with Ava Gardner) has been somewhat hesitant to lend her blessing to the project. It further concerns Leonardo DiCaprio’s age which, at 49, is hardly in the same decade as Sinatra’s 36 during the time of his marriage to Gardner.

Zac Efron Makes a Much Better Candidate for Frank Sinatra

Zac Efron over Leonardo DiCaprio for Frank Sinatra

The third and final problem lies with the casting choice for Scorsese’s Sinatra biopic. Although DiCaprio resembles the singer more closely than Zac Efron (36), the former Disney star has a vocal range, professional experience, and mastery over singing that DiCaprio frankly does not. Throughout his Hollywood career, there has been no proof of concept – be it a film or passion project – that can support DiCaprio’s claim to the role. Efron, on the other hand, is ripe for the taking – his sparkling blue eyes being a lucky addition that only serves to make his claim stronger.

After The Greatest Showman actor’s egregious snub at the 2024 Oscars, it only becomes more pertinent that Hollywood recognize and compensate for Zac Efron’s ignored talent by casting him in a role that he may have been born to play. At this stage, the biopic just might need The Iron Claw actor’s skills more than whatever DiCaprio can bring to the table.


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